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Update: Three witnesses speak at Garnier trial

Chris Garnier
Chris Garnier - file photo

Witnesses Gregory Litzenberger, Blair McLellan and Adrian Butler spoke on Dec. 5, at the trial of Christopher Garnier.

Litzenberger, a forensic DNA expert spoke about how his laboratory analyzed two bloodstains from a t-shirt. Catherine Campbell's underwear and a vaginal swab were also analyzed, and no blood or semen was found. According to Litzenberger, two swabs from the living room floor, a third from a stereo cabinet and a fourth from a speaker found blood that matches that of Catherine Campbell.

No blood was found on a neck chain, but it had DNA that matched Campbell and a male. DNA matching that of Campbell and a male was also found on a watch's inner clasp.

MacLellan, a member of the RCMP in Sept. 2015, described how he examined a seized computer on Sept. 15, and found Google and web searches relating to Cipralex (an anti-depressant) and violence, as well as Cipralex and alcohol and Cipralex and drugs. The seized computer had one user account called "Garnier," and an email account for "Chris Garnier" was found on it. Previous internet activity from Sept. 9 included job and career related searches.

Butler, a blood stain pattern analyst said that spatter stains found at 5714 McCully Street were consistent with an object or weapon strike. Butler told the court that more spatter and transfer stains were found underneath a tissue box, and on the stereo system and wall. There was no evidence of a clean-up. Butler also stated that DNA tests on the bloodstains matched that of Catherine Campbell.

A weeping Christopher Garnier said little at the start of a nearly 10-hour taped police interview shown at his trial in Halifax Monday.

But RCMP Cpl. Jody Allison told Garnier that "I know you did it," as he showed him pictures of Catherine Campbell's body and other evidence recovered by police after her death, displayed in the Sept. 16, 2015, interview.

This included video footage and pictures of the green bin allegedly used to transport her body from an address on McCully Street to the Macdonald Bridge.

The Crown alleges that the 30-year-old Garnier punched and strangled Campbell, a Truro, N.S., police officer, inside a McCully Street apartment and dumped her body on a steep embankment near Halifax's Macdonald Bridge.

"There is no doubt in my mind that you're responsible for her death," Allison told Garnier in the tape.

Allison spoke in a comforting tone to Garnier, raising his voice somewhat as he said that it looked like her murder may have been planned.

However, Allison repeatedly pointed out that Garnier "was not a monster," referring to his past work as a firefighter and paramedic.

"Chris, you've got to help me paint the picture that you're not a monster, bud," Allison said.

The RCMP officer further asked Garnier to "set the record straight," and tell the truth about what happened in the early hours of Sept. 11, after he and Campbell allegedly returned to the McCully Street address from the Halifax Alehouse.

"You're a good guy," said Allison.

Later, he was shown a clip of his girlfriend Brittany Francis in tears after Garnier's arrest.

"Mom I need you, Chris has been arrested," she can be heard saying.

The Crown says that Garnier and Francis had broken up on Sept. 9 or 10 of 2015 but got back together soon afterward.

At this point in the interview, Garnier broke down sobbing as Allison comforted him by laying a hand on his shoulder.

Garnier said he did not recall having sex with Campbell, when asked by Allison in the interview.

When asked what bothered him the most, Garnier replied "everything."

Evidence presented at the trial has indicated Campbell was seen kissing and dancing with a man who bar staff identified as Garnier before leaving with him in the early hours of Sept. 11, 2015.

Earlier Monday, the jury was shown the clothing Campbell was wearing when her body was found in thick brush near the bridge.

Halifax Regional Police Sgt. André Habib wore purple latex gloves as he pulled items from bags and held them up for the 14-member jury.

He showed the court a hair clip, a strapless dress and a strapless bra — all items the 36-year-old woman was wearing when her body was found in the early hours of Sept. 16, 2015.

Habib also said that toiletries, clothes and Garnier's passport were found inside a backpack seized from the Ford Edge he was driving when he was arrested.

The trial has heard the mattress from the pullout couch in the McCully Street apartment was missing. Habib testified Monday that police never found the mattress.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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